True 180 Personal Training | Does Sweating Burn Calories?

Charlotte Personal Trainer Answers: Does Sweating Burn Calories

It has been so hot out this summer and I’d be willing to bet you wondered at least once to yourself, especially if you were sweating…

Q&A: Does sweating burn calories?

A: Sadly, No.
We sweat when we get hot. You can get plenty sweaty while sitting on your butt, as you can see from these photos at my cousin’s midday outdoor North Carolina summer wedding.  (What were they thinking?!?)  I lost a few pounds during the wedding, but that’s because water is very heavy not because I lost any body fat.  In fact I definitely gained fat at the reception by eating all of the food.  (I may have even snuck food off my neighbors plates when they weren’t looking.)
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Yes! Sweating my ass off and gaining fat at the same time!
More Sweat = More Calories During Workout?
Kinda. Sorta. If all things are equal about the climate (temperature, humidity and airflow), then, yes, more sweat = more calories burned.  The more work you do (not perceive you do) the more calories you expend. 

However, what is trendy right now are things like hot yoga (105 F and 40-60% humidity), hot yoga with weights, and waist trainers (made of fabric that doesn’t breath, and makes your midsection sweat like crazy).  None of these things make you burn more calories.  In fact, they all cause you to burn fewer calories.

More Heat = Less Calories
Heat kills.  When we get too hot our cells start to die.  Stay too hot for too long and you might die. 104 degrees Fahrenheit is the magic number when our cells die.  The hotter your muscles get the worse they perform, or the less work they can do. 

If you are exercising in a hot and/or humid place, then you begin to overheat almost immediately.  As you overheat your muscles get weaker and even the easiest of tasks feels exhausting.

Hot exercise is like the social media of exercise – we look like we’re kicking ass, but it’s actually an illusion.  We feel like we’ve done all the work because we have all of the fatigue, but the reality is that we’re just exhausted from the heat… you know, like heat exhaustion, which is what happens before heat stroke.

Would you want to sweat less?
No.  Some women think (have been lead to believe) they sweat too much.  There are drugs marketed to them that can suppress sweating.  I don’t think these are a great idea because anything that limits sweat will push you to overheat faster and faster… meaning all of your workouts and physical activity will be less productive which will reduce your health and fitness.  If you’re a competitive athlete limiting your ability to sweat will crush your performance because you’ll be the most tired athlete on the field or court. 

My additional 2 cents: if someone you’re dating finds your perspiration from stress, exercise, or whatever unattractive/repulsive, then fixing your shallow asshole problem will be your best medication… that’s like someone telling you that you need to change your eye color to date them. It won’t be hard to do better, and the more you think that’s not true the more urgently you need to get your shallow asshole removed.

Your coach,

P.S. Natillie told me “you love pushing the envelope” after she read this fit tip, and I, Last Word Brandenburg, told her, “yeah, but it’s still just stationary.”

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